A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Adelaide vs. Cairns

Should you visit Adelaide or Cairns?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Adelaide and Cairns can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Adelaide

Adelaide is the often overlooked capital city of the State of South Australia. It's also the fifth largest city in the country. Despite being skipped by most travelers, Adelaide is an interesting city to explore and has a decent amount to offer open minded travelers. It has some fascinating architecture, unique shopping, and wonderful cafes and restaurants. Part of the appeal of Adelaide is its location in the midst of Australia's wine regions, including McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, and Clare Valley. Any of these destinations could be visited as a day trip from Adelaide.

Cairns

Most travelers go to Cairns specifically to visit Great Barrier Reef. The city itself is surprisingly large and cosmopolitan with a population of approximately 140,000. The city's economy is almost exclusively based on tourism, although you will find some jobs centered around agriculture, or more specifically sugar cane, bananas, coffee, tea, wine, and some tropical fruits. The city itself is surrounded by rainforest and makes a great base for exploring Kuranda, with the Barron Gorge National Park and the Daintree offering a quieter tropical getaway than Cairns.

Which city is cheaper, Cairns or Adelaide?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Adelaide is $62, while the average daily cost in Cairns is $79. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Adelaide and Cairns in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $60 for a double occupancy room in Adelaide If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $64 in Cairns For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Adelaide $30
    Cairns $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Adelaide $60
    Cairns $64

Food

The price of a meal in Adelaide can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $26 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

Food in Cairns costs travelers about $25 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Adelaide $26
    Cairns $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Adelaide

For Adelaide, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The F Factor: Adelaide food tour: $36
  • Best of Adelaide Tour with Hahndorf, River Cruise & Dinner: $141
  • Adelaide Central Market The Collaborators Dinner Tour: $154

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cairns

For Cairns, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Spirit of Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Cairns Aquarium by Twilight with 3 Course Dinner: $99
  • Small-Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour with Harbour Dinner Cruise: $154

Local Transportation

To get around in Adelaide, the average visitor spends $9.21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

Cairns's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $8.60 per person, per day on transportation in Cairns.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Adelaide $9.21
    Cairns $8.60
Typical Local Transportation prices in Adelaide

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Adelaide are as follows:


  • Shuttle from the Train Station
    $4.24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Adelaide

Also for Adelaide, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Adelaide Downtown to Adelaide Airport: $61
  • Transfer in private minivan from Adelaide Downtown to Adelaide Airport: $61
  • Private Transfer: Adelaide to Adelaide Airport (ADL): $64
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Adelaide Airport: $40
  • One Day Kangaroo Island Sip & See tour with return ferry transfers from Adelaide: $240
  • Departure Private Transfers: Adelaide to Adelaide Airport ADL in Luxury Van: $99
  • Departure Private Transfers: Adelaide to Adelaide Airport ADL in Business Car: $67
  • Corporate transfers and wine tours: $43
  • AirPort Transfers & People Mover: $169
  • Adelaide Airport Transfers : Adelaide City to Airport ADL in Luxury Van: $99
  • Adelaide Airport Transfers : Adelaide City to Airport ADL in Luxury Car: $121
  • Adelaide Airport Transfers : Adelaide City to Airport ADL in Business Car: $71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cairns

Also for Cairns, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Premium, private bus transfer. Cairns City - Cairns Airport.: $135
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns City - Cairns Airport: $89
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Trinity Beach: $107
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.: $244
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $125
  • Port Douglas Transfers from Cairns: $49
  • Port Douglas Transfers between Cairns Airport & Port Douglas (Private Chauffeur): $118
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns City - Cairns Airport: $62
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport -Trinity Beach.: $71
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.: $171
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $89
  • Express Private Transfer from Cairns Airport to Cairns City: $22

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Cairns can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $38 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Adelaide -
    Cairns $38

Tours and Activities in Adelaide

For Adelaide, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 10-Day Adelaide to Perth Adventure Tour: $1,419
  • 2-Day Kangaroo Island 4WD Small-Group Tour from Adelaide: $990
  • 3 Day Flinders Ranges Outback Tour: $1,772
  • 3 Day Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay Tour: $1,577
  • 3 Day Whale Watching Tour from Adelaide: $1,679
  • 3 Days Flerieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island Motorcycle Tour: $562
  • 3-Day Adelaide to Melbourne Tour Including the Great Ocean Road: $1,221
  • 3-Day Guided Seafood Lovers Tour of Ceduna from Adelaide: $1,814
  • 3-Day Private Adelaide to Melbourne tour: $2,442
  • 3-Day Small-Group Eco-Tour from Southern Yorke Peninsula: $1,102
  • 3-Night Murray River Cruise by Classic Paddle Wheeler PS Murray Princess: $1,095
  • 4 Knots Murray River Cruises offer Morning and Afternoon Tea and Lunch Cruises: $51

Typical Entertainment prices in Cairns

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cairns's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Scuba Diving
    $42

Tours and Activities in Cairns

For Cairns, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1.5-Hour Segway Tour of Cairns and Botanic Gardens: $72
  • 14-Day Cape York Camping Tour: $2,350
  • 2 Day Liveaboard Yacht Great Barrier Reef Tour: $358
  • 2 Day Reef & Rainforest Adventure: $619
  • 2-Day Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns /Port Douglas: $221
  • 2-Day Green Island Cruise and Kuranda Day Trip: $316
  • ATV Buggy Adventure & Rainforest experience Half-Day Tour: $102
  • Aboriginal Cultural Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns or Port Douglas: $210
  • Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls and Rainforest Day Tour Departing Cairns: $95
  • Barron Gorge and Kuranda National Park Half Day Rainforest and Waterfall 4WD Tour from Cairns: $124
  • Barron River Half-Day Rafting Tour from Cairns: $88
  • Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour: $203

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Adelaide spend on average $33 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Cairns spend on average $8.50 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Adelaide $33
    Cairns $8.50

Sample the Local Flavors in Adelaide

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Adelaide:

  • McLaren Vale and Glenelg Wine Tasting and Sightseeing (Half-day Afternoon): $55
  • Adelaide Highlights, Hahndorf & McLaren Vale Wine Tasting and Sightseeing Tour: $78
  • Adelaide Hills Wine Tour: $81
  • From Barossa Valley Food and Wine Tour: $101
  • The Lane Vineyard: Panorama Private Wine Tasting Experience: $103
  • The Barossa Valley: Small Group Premium Wine Tour with Lunch: $109
  • Barossa Valley Wine Tours - Small Private Groups: $119
  • Barossa Valley Cellar Doors Luxury Wine Tour: $121
  • McLaren Vale Wine Tour by Bike: $126
  • Small-Group Barossa Valley Food and Wine Tour: $126
  • McLaren Vale Luxury Wine Tour: $155
  • McLaren Vale Winery Small Group Tour with Wine Tasting and Lunch: $158

Sample the Local Flavors in Cairns

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cairns:

  • Tablelands Food & Wine Tour: $233


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Adelaide and Cairns, we can see that Cairns is more expensive. And not only is Adelaide much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Adelaide would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Adelaide and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cairns would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cairns than you might in Adelaide.

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Adelaide vs. Cairns Travel Comparison

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